Hospitals and other healthcare providers have had to face the fact that they must do more with less. They must seek every opportunity to cut costs and increase patient throughput. One of the quickest ways to realize these objectives is to pre-plan the acquisition of your medical equipment. Pre-planning improves the probability of success for any project, from proposal and awarding of the bid, to the delivery and set-up of the equipment.
Regardless of your size, pre-planning can take any organization from the initial structural planning stage and financial evaluation to successful go-live implementation.
Preparation for Equipment Purchase
One of the reasons that pre-planning is critical to the equipment purchasing process is that it provides an opportunity for the project team members to consult with capital equipment planning experts to help provide guidance through the entire process. In addition, pre-planning allows senior management and board members to conduct a more comprehensive evaluation of the organization’s equipment requirements and assimilate them into the organization’s annual and long-term strategic plans.
Gathering input from all of the affected stakeholders during the pre-planning stage assures that all potential issues will be addressed in the plan.
Develop an Equipment Management Plan — The pre-planning stage provides you the chance to conduct analysis and due diligence and gather the data necessary to develop your equipment purchase management plan. Your plan should include the following elements:
Pre-purchase evaluation and analysis of capital equipment
Logistics plan including a timeline
Vendor sourcing, proposals
Contract Award criteria
Delivery, Inspection, and Acceptance
Installation, Operation, and Safety Check
Design and Site preparation — Pre-planning the equipment purchase especially as it pertains to the logistics time-line ensures that the procurement of the necessary medical equipment progresses in unison with preparation of the space, whether you need to prepare a single room or complete facility remodeling or construction. Not to be overlooked at this point is where equipment items will be stored when not in use.
Equipment Financing — The pre-planning process enables you to prepare a preliminary budgeting and evaluate financing and leasing options. When you are ready to make the purchase, you will have the information that you need to make critical decisions about spending your available capital and how you can reduce costs by taking advantage of various leasing options or leveraging group-buy pricing.
Vendor Sourcing and Equipment Selection — Pre-planning the equipment procurement processes will ensure that you outline procedures for evaluating vendors and numerous equipment models, performance and cost. You will also have to consider the various elements that go into making the final decision including contract negotiations, current policies and procedures, risk management, safety utility requirements, standards, warranties, service contracts, and training requirements.
Since logistics are so critical when outfitting any new space, consideration should be given on whether the vendors can help with those processes. Can the vendors store, assemble and deliver the products to the room when needed?
Staff Training and Support — Determine upfront whether or not you have the necessary staffing to operate the new equipment as well as any training required to learn to use the new equipment. You will also need to inquire about go-live support, ongoing support, and equipment servicing.
Project Review — After completion of the go-live phase, you will need to assess the equipment for safety, clinical effectiveness, infection control, compatibility with existing systems, operational factor, utilities, and compliance with manufacturer’s specification and codes and standards, maintenance and operating costs. Post review is also the time to reevaluate and determine where you can make improvements in the capital equipment purchasing process.
With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule. Let us help you with your next equipment purchase.